A study of Revelation and knowledge of the U.S. Church has encouraged one MVNU student to write letters of prophecy to the Body of Christ.
Senior ministry major Jessica Myers said the journey that ended in her senior honors project has unfolded over time.
Her fascination with the book of Revelation began in her middle school years.
“I remember reading through it several times, attending a Bible study on it that focused on the opening seven letters and reading the pop fiction series ‘Left Behind,’” she said.
Myers said that when a trusted adult explained that the “Left Behind” series was not Biblical, she set the series as well as the book of Revelation aside for a while.
Upon coming to Mount Vernon and declaring a ministry major, Revelation resurfaced.
“Christian Beliefs and Convictions opened the door to a new way of looking at Revelation, a way that didn’t see the apocalyptic end-of-the-world images as forecasting, but a literary tool,” Myers said.
After the Christian Beliefs class, Myers enrolled in an honors seminar about civil religion.
“The primary emphasis was whether the Church should be tangled up in political rule or living according to a different Kingdom,” Myers said.
During the class, they analyzed symbols in America and compared them to Christian symbols.
“This seminar revealed to me how far from ‘in the world but not of it’ the Church had wandered, particularly in the U.S.,” Myers said.
The timing of this course fell during the same semester as the senior honors project preparation course and everything pointed toward Revelation.
“Everything seemed to be pointing to this topic of writing a modern adaptation of Revelation,” Myers said.
At first, she was unsure how to go about it. But she knew it was unrealistic to tackle the whole book.
“I began to chisel down my work by trying to pick a section of Revelation to emulate,” Myers said. “I began to focus in on the first few chapters which contain the seven letters to the seven churches.”
From there, her mentor Dr. Eric Vail, worked out a plan that would equip her to write knowledgeably on the topic. She dove into researching the book of Revelation and read five books, each concerned with reading Revelation according to its original purpose and message for the people of the late first century.
Then, Myers began a cursory investigation of the current ailments facing the Church in the U.S. today.
Myers read three books on the topic and combined them with knowledge she gained from her ministry courses. Myers also drew on personal experiences “gleaned from living outside the U.S. borders for much of my life,” she said.
Finally, she pulled everything together to write a creative piece “that recapitulated Revelation for our own present time,” Myers said.
Myers has worked with Vail throughout the project, receiving feedback and guidance on her papers and research. He has also kept her accountable to the project timetable.
She also worked alongside her creative writing adviser to write a piece that is “accessible and appealing to today’s audience.”
Myers realizes just how ambitious it was to set out and write a prophetic word to our Church today.
“It is one thing to research a book of the Bible or analyze the present-day issues of the Church, it is quite another to try and speak life and warning into the Church in the pattern of Scripture,” Myers said.
“This project has humbled me significantly, and while I work through this ‘with fear and trembling,’ I am also impassioned to help the Church live up to its calling.”